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More Fitness Ball Exercises

Essential Exercise

Ball Crunches

Muscles worked: Abdominal muscles, especially the upper abs.

Lay down flat on your back on an exercise ball. Point your feet straight and take a towel and support your head with it. Curl your upper body up and do a crunch. Think of it as trying to roll your upper body up like a carpet and then roll it back down.

Don't keep tension in your abs throughout the entire set. Don't come all the way back down where your abs are resting.

Ball Crunches with Arms Up

Ball Crunches

Muscles worked: Upper abdominals and core muscles.

  1. Grab either a dumbbell or a barbell weight. Lay flat on your back on an exercise ball and point your feet straight.
  2. Take a dumbbell (or weight) and extend your arms straight over you. Contracting the abdominal muscles lift the weight straight up towards the ceiling. Exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down.
  3. Don't bounce on the ball. Go slow enough so that the muscles are tight throughout the entire set. Also don't bring the weight up at an angle (as in towards your lower body). Try to push the weight straight up, perfectly vertical.

Ball Crunch on Floor

Muscles worked: Abdominals

  1. Lay down on the floor on your back. Take an exercise towel and support your head with it. Grab an exercise ball with the inside of your ankles and calves.
  2. Simultaneously lift the ball with your legs while you lift your upper body off of the ground. Try to come up high enough so that your shoulder blades come off the ground. Exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down. Do not let the ball touch the ground.
  3. Make sure you put the towel behind your head and not your neck. That is where the support is needed. Also, try to go slow and not use momentum.

Ball Crunches: Feet Over Ball

Muscles worked: Abdominal muscles (especially upper abs)

  1. Lay on your back on the floor. Take an exercise ball (or bench if you don't have one) and put your legs over the ball. Using a towel behind your head curl your upper body up doing a crunch. Slowly come back down.
  2. Exhale on the way up and inhale on the way back down.
  3. Keep tension in your abdominal muscles through the entire set. Don't come completely all the way down.

Ball Lifts

Muscles worked: Abdominal muscles with emphasis on the lower abdominal muscles.

This exercise is very similar to the floor knee raises except you are using an exercise ball to make it more challenging.

  1. Lay flat on your back on the floor. Grab an exercise ball and hold it straight over you with your legs fully extended. Place your hands face down at your sides for more stability.
  2. Slowly lift your pelvis and raise your legs and ball straight up in the air. Exhale on the way up and inhale on the way back down.
  3. Make sure you lift the ball straight up and use slow controlled motions.

Ball Raise Off Floor

Muscles worked: Abdominals

  1. Lay down on your back on the floor. Place your hands face down at your side as shown (for more advanced cross your arms across your chest).
  2. Grab an exercise ball with your inner ankles about mid-ball. Lift the ball so it is right over your body. Exhale as you come up and inhale as you bring the ball back down. Make sure you keep your lower back on the floor, not arched.
  3. Don't let the ball touch the ground. Don't go too fast and use momentum.

Ball Rollers

Muscles worked: Abdominal and core muscles

  1. Kneel down on a mat and place your hands on the top of an exercise ball with your thumbs up. With control let the ball roll up your forearms and away from you causing you body to lean forward.
  2. Once in the finish position contract your abdominal muscles and return to the start position. Inhale as you roll out and exhale as you come back in.
  3. When coming back to the start position concentrate on using the abdominal muscles to bring you back not on pulling back with your arms. Keep those thumbs up.

Ball Roller Exercise

Ball Roll Ups

Muscles worked: Abdominal muscles, especially your upper abs

  1. Lay down on the floor on your back. Hold an exercise ball with your hands over your head with the arms extended.
  2. Lift the ball to the middle while doing a crunch and bringing your shoulder blades off of the ground. Then bring the ball back over your head like in the start position. Exhale as you bring the ball up and inhale as you bring it back over your head.
  3. Don't let the ball touch the ground over your head. Keep constant tension in your abs throughout the set.

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